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Amazon Fire TV 4-Series vs Fire TV Omni: Which Alexa-powered TV is best?

"Alexa, what TV should I buy?"

The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series displaying the Prime Video logo in a living room setting Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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After spending years licensing its software to various TV brands, Amazon finally began selling its own TVs. The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series and the Fire TV Omni are two affordable smart TVs that prioritize user experience above all else. What sets the Fire TVs apart from other budget-friendly smart TVs is their integration of Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant. Both TVs put Alexa front and center; with Alexa voice commands, viewers can search for content, adjust picture settings, and interact with other Alexa devices in their home.

But despite the fact that these TVs are more similar to one another than any other TV in their price bracket, there are some key differences here that you should be aware of before making a decision. Fortunately, we’ve tested each Fire TV extensively and are more than equipped to clear the air.

Buy the Amazon Fire TV Omni at Amazon

Buy the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series at Amazon

Price

A close-up of the Fire TV insignia on the front of the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Fire TV 4-Series comes in three sizes ranging from 43 to 55 inches.

Before we take a look at their respective prices, note that these are the original price points of these TVs and not necessarily the prices you’ll encounter while shopping today.

For the sake of clarity, we’ll look at both the MSRP of each series lineup as well as their current sale price. Although there’s no guarantee that the sale prices will still be the same by the time you read this, the price of these TVs will probably be closer to their current sale price than their original MSRPs moving forward.

First, let’s take a look at the 4-Series.

Amazon Fire TV 4-Series:

The 4-Series is available in just three sizes, with the largest being a relatively modest 55 inches. Each model is competitively priced, with the 55-inch 4-Series currently marked down below $400.

Here’s how the Omni compares:

Amazon Fire TV Omni:

The Omni lineup accounts for every size in the 4-Series lineup and includes two additional sizes on the larger end: 65 and 75 inches. This should satisfy people who are shopping for an ultra-affordable, big-screen TV.

In addition, the Omni’s current sale prices are remarkably close to the 4-Series’ sale prices. Right now, the 43-, 50-, and 55-inch 4-Series are a mere $20 cheaper than their Omni counterparts.

Despite the added flexibility of the Omni’s size options, these TVs are similar enough in price to warrant a tie.

Our pick: Draw

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Design

A close-up of the silver accent on the Amazon Fire TV Omni's panel
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The silver accent gives the Fire TV Omni an air of sophistication that the 4-Series lacks.

The Fire TV 4-Series features a dark gray, plastic-bound chassis with moderately thin bezels. The panel itself is propped up by a pair of angular feet that sit close to the corners. It’s a plain look, but one that will look fine in just about every setting.

The Fire TV Omni is similar: a somewhat chunky panel propped up by narrow, angular feet positioned close to the edge of the TV. One difference, however, is that the Omni’s panel is accented by a lighter shade of gray that closely resembles silver from a short distance. The Omni’s bezels are slightly narrower than the 4-Series’ bezels, though not by much. In addition, the Omni also features a physical switch below the Fire TV insignia that toggles the TV’s far-field microphone on and off.

Both TVs offer ample room for a soundbar beneath the screen, and both TVs offer the same remote control. If pressed, I’d give the edge to the Omni—though it’s very close. The lighter, silver accents around the Omni’s panel give it a slight air of sophistication, and even though its bezels aren’t that much narrower than the 4-Series, it nevertheless makes a bit of a difference.

Our pick: Omni

Features and smart platform

The Amazon Fire TV Omni displaying its smart platform's home screen in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Fire TV OS (seen here) is easy to navigate—particularly if you use Alexa's voice commands to do so.

Before we hash out what sets the Fire TVs apart, let’s take a look at the hardware and software features shared by both models:

  • Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
  • Color depth: DCI-P3 color space/10-bit chroma resolution
  • Display type: Full-array direct LED(VA panel)
  • HDR compatibility: HDR10, HLG
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Dolby Atmos: Passthrough via HDMI eARC in Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus (no native decoding)
  • eARC support: Yes
  • Smart platform: Fire TV OS
  • Other features: Alexa integration, Apple AirPlay 2

Cinephiles and all-around A/V enthusiasts might be concerned about the lack of Dolby Vision support on this list, but there’s hope: the 65- and 75-inch versions of the Fire TV Omni support the Dolby Vision HDR format.
The 65- and 75-inch Omni TVs are also the only two models of the eight available options that support Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). This modest gaming perk automatically optimizes the Omni for gaming whenever a console is detected on one of the TV’s HDMI ports.

The software experience on both Fire TVs is largely the same.

In the audio department, both TVs offer HDMI eARC support, which allows you to pass Dolby TrueHD (necessary for the uncompressed version of Atmos) directly to a receiver or soundbar, so long as your chosen device also supports eARC. Neither Fire TV can decode Dolby Atmos natively, but if you spend most of your time streaming content from apps like Netflix and Disney+, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, since you’re probably getting a compressed version of Atmos to begin with.

The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series displaying the home screen of its Fire TV OS smart platform in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The biggest issue with Fire TV OS is its abundance of sponsored and recommended content.

The software experience on both Fire TVs is largely the same, too. Amazon’s operating system offers a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to downloadable content, though I certainly have my pet peeves about the overall navigational experience. There’s quite a bit of sponsored content to maneuver around and some occasional slowdown to contend with.

If you’re an Alexa user and plan on making her your TV-operating co-pilot, there are a few differences to note. While the Omni’s onboard, far-field microphone offers users the option of accessing Alexa in a hands-free manner, the 4-Series keeps Alexa access limited to the remote control’s built-in microphone. It might not seem like a big difference, but Alexa power users will probably appreciate the hands-free option. In either case, both TVs can tap an Amazon Echo speaker to act as an additional point of access.

The Amazon Fire TV Omni with an optional webcam hooked up to its USB port
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

If you plug a supported webcam into one of the USB ports you can use the Omni for two-way video calls.

Another feature that comes exclusive to the Omni is its support for two-way video calls, something we were unable to test back when we reviewed the TV. Users can hook up a USB-backed webcam to the Omni and call on Alexa to begin a call.

Here’s the takeaway: When it comes to hardware- and software-related features, these TVs are about 90% the same. I imagine, though, that the remaining 10% is pretty substantial to you if you’re considerably interested in an Alexa-centric TV.

Our pick: Omni

Picture performance

The Amazon Fire TV 4-Series displaying 4K/HDR content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Fire TV 4-Series (seen here) and the Omni look fine for casual viewing, but they're budget-friendly TVs through and through, so don't expect spectacular picture quality.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: Both of these TVs prioritize value over picture quality. They don’t feature premium display tech like quantum dots or mini-LEDs, nor do they take advantage of hardware-based local dimming. As a result, neither TV is a great fit for showcasing the benefits of HDR content, and their relative dimness makes them a rough choice for bright, sunny rooms. In other words, these are budget-friendly performers through and through.

Ordinarily, I’d just call this category a tie. But there are some subtle differences in picture quality to note, and given how close these two TVs are in price, I think a bit of nit picking is worth noting.

The Amazon Fire TV Omni displaying 4K/HDR content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Omni (seen here) doesn't get that much brighter than the 4-Series, but the added boost will make a difference during daytime viewing.

Of the two, the Omni gets slightly brighter, particularly during HDR content. It’s not by much—I clocked the Omni’s peak HDR brightness at around 300 to 350 nits, which is about 100 nits more than the 4-Series’ peak HDR brightness level. While it’s still not particularly bright for daytime viewing, the Omni’s 100 nits could make a pretty big difference. You’ll need all the luminance you can get.

Color, motion handling, and contrast control are more or less the same across both TVs. Their viewing angles are narrow, but no worse than most similarly priced TVs. The 4-Series and the Omni aren’t the best-performing TVs in these categories, but compared to each other they may as well be Rosencrantz & Guildenstern. They’ll both look fine for casual viewing, whether it’s cable, streaming, or over-the-air programming.

Nevertheless, I’ve got to go with the Omni once again, if only for the added brightness. Under most circumstances, I wouldn’t harp on a meager 100 nits, but for TVs in this price bracket, it really does come down to details like this.

Our pick: Omni

And the winner is…

The Amazon Fire TV Omni displaying its smart platform's home screen in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Fire TV Omni (seen here) is the better pick for Alexa users and non-Alexa users alike.

Although both Fire TVs offer similar picture performance, a similar set of features, and a nearly identical smart platform, the Omni is undeniably the fuller experience. Everything that comes with being an “Amazon TV” in 2022 is accounted for, from its hands-free Alexa integration to its two-way video calling support. The 4-Series either offers the same or less, no matter how you cut it.

The Omni is undeniably the winner.

What makes this even more of a slam dunk is how close both of these two TVs are in price right now. At the time this is being published, the 43-, 50-, and 55-inch Omni TVs are only $20 more than their 4-Series counterparts.

If you’re going to choose between the two, you may as well spring for the Omni, especially if you intend to get a 65- or 75-inch TV.

Buy the Amazon Fire TV Omni at Amazon

Buy the Amazon Fire TV 4-Series at Amazon


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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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